I often hear, see, think, experience miscellaneous things. However they are not the type of thing that I would write a full post about. This page is for those misc items; some related to robotics, others having nothing to do with robots. This is mostly unorganized.

Robotics Related

  • Communicating with a Labjack T7 over ethernet using the serial number is not that reliable. Specifying the IP address of the device works much better.
  • The Copley motor controllers serial multidrop network topology is not good for any form of coordinated motions. The master handles the command a few 100ms faster than the messages that are passed via CAN.
  • The Copley CML motion libraries for CAN and EtherCAT are easy to use and work well. Copley should provide these for free, however it is a good purchase to save you development time and headache. Copley also has their own CAN adapters that works well with there drives, however you need to install that driver separately.
  • In most cases when charging batteries, or charging a robot with an onboard charger. When charging first attach charger to the battery/robot, then to the wall power/plug. When done charging you should first disconnect from the wall power, then from the robot.
  • IDS Cameras (USB and Gig-E) generally work well in Linux and with ROS. However in Linux after installing the driver you need to open the IDS tools and configure which port should be enabled before the ROS driver will find the camera. Also for setting a static IP on the IDS Gig-E camera’s use the Windows tool, the Linux tool looks like it should work, but does not work well (as of September 2017).
  • If your computer is at the grub prompt here is a good guide to fixing it: https://www.linux.com/learn/how-rescue-non-booting-grub-2-Linux
  • Rule of thumb: A screw’s shear strength is 1.5 times its diameter (Or with math t = 1.5 x D)


Note: In many cases I am intentionally not providing a source, due to them not knowing I would be quoting them.
  • “People used to get domain knowledge to build a machine learning system, now people are lazy and use deep learning; and forget to learn about the domain.”
  • “In the future, ‘Robot’ will be a new species; like dog, cat & human”
  • “Robot = Perception, Cognition, Action”
  • “Dartmouth convention goal: To solve all of artificial intelligence in two months.”
  • “Robots have the vision of a 2 year old, the speech of a 4 year old, the dexterity of a 6 year old, and the social skills of an 8 year old”
  • “It’s not about the robots; it’s about the people”
  • “SLAM is: Simultaneous, so at the same time. Localization, knowing where you are. And, which is a conjunction. Mapping, which is mapping. If you are just estimating your position, it is NOT SLAM!”
  • “If you get hurt, don’t bleed on the robots.”
  • “Managing people is about how you can help your people. You need to let your highly trained experts do what they are trained to do”. This was in the context of urban search and rescue from the incident commander. His example was “if a rescue person asks for a hose, don’t ask why, figure out how to get a hose.”
  • “Fail Early, Fail Often” – The idea is to find and fix your problems as soon as possible.


  • “When setting up a ladder (to climb something), the horizontal distance to the base of the ladder should be 1/4 of the height of the ladder.” – From a roofer
  • Gasoline in a standard gas can looses 1 octane every 3 months. After about 1 year the octance is to low for a car. You can buy canned gas that will last a long time.